As LED lights are generally considered to be an ideal replacement for conventional HPS lamps for its high efficiency and low maintenance, complaints about these overtly bright energy-saving lights from residential areas across U.S. has been quite common.
Las Cruces, a New Mexico city in the U.S. has taken into account these disturbing issues and came up with a compromise plan, reported Las Cruces Sun-News.
On March 28, John Gilkison, president of the National Public Observatory and Sidney Webb, a representative with the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces met with the city’s officials including David Masestas, Transportation Director, Lisa LaRocque, Sustainability Officer and Willie Roman, Streets and Traffic Operations Administrator and Soogyu Lee, Traffic Operations Engineer.
Las Cruces has decided to install brighter LED streetlights on major streets and dimmer ones on streets of residential areas.
The city has started to replace 7,563 streetlights from conventional lights to LED ones.
Initially city officials proposed installing LED streetlights that produce 4,000 lm, but concerns were raised on these lights environmental impact.
Meanwhile, the other 4,000 lights on residential streets are 3,000 lm fixtures.
While it seems to be a compromised scheme to have LED streetlights at different brightness in municipal and residential areas, some argued that they are still too bright.
John Gilkison, president of the National Public Observatory, who has done extensive research on this topic, wrote to the City to express his concern. The streetlight replacement can significantly change the nightscape of the city and potentially create light pollution once fully replaced.